Asian Community Celebrates Year of the Boar
By Harriet Steinberg
Feb 25, 2007 - 3:28:00 PM

LOS ANGELES —Last Sunday, the Asian community, in the Southern California area, began celebrating the Year of the Boar. This is the Chinese New Year, and it will be celebrated through the end of February. Many activities are planned, and it is hoped that this event will bring visitors throughout California

It is believed that there will be a little over a million people of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese descent who will experience this exciting event. Steven Lee, vice president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce would like to see a celebration like the ones in Asia. The Asian communities will ring in the new year with festivities featuring food, dances, and parades.

In the United States, Lee said the term Chinese New Year is used interchangeably with Luna New Year, which is celebrated by other Asian nations such as Japan, the Koreas and Vietnam.

The New Year in China is based on the cycles of the moon and sun. According to the Chinese zodiac, each new year is ruled by one of 12 animals---rat, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, dog, horse, sheep, rooster, monkey, ox and pig, or boar. The Year of the Boar represents inner strength and courage.

There are many traditions attached to this holiday which is considered “old fashioned” by the new generation of Chinese Americans. For example, at one time, getting a haircut before the New Year would symbolize clipping away good luck.

Yong Chen, a professor of History at UC Irvine said that in the past, a lot of second and third generation Chinese Americans kept their traditions because they were isolated from mainstream society. She feels that now they have a choice to become Americanized. However, she sees that there are many benefits to being associated with being Chinese because of the growth in China’s capabilities of trading with Southern California.

Last Sunday, the Floral Street Festival in Monterey Park featured food booths, traditional Asian-themed entertainment and pig races.

On Saturday, the 24th, The Los Angeles downtown area will feature the Golden Dragon Parade which is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m., beginning at Ord and Hill Streets, and is expected to draw up to 150,000 people. There will also be festivities in China Town that will take place over the week-end.

Although the Chinese New Year officially began last week-end, most festivities won’t be held until the end of the month.

© Copyright 2007 by